Review: Lucy in the Sky

Without the diamonds though.

Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman) is an astronaut who has a truly profound experience in space. So much so that when she can't settle back in with her dorky husband, Drew (Dan Stevens) or her visiting niece Blue Iris. (Pearl Amanda Dickson) As she meticulously prepares to be considered for her next mission, she starts an affair with a colleague, Mark (Jon Hamm) and everything continues to spiral for Lucy. 

Much has already been made about the real story this film is based on and what director Noah Hawley chose not to include, so I won't get into that, but I just have to laugh at this point. I was looking forward to this last year and I thought it looked so much more interesting than the other space movie coming out at the time, Ad Astra. My, how the tables turned.

Lucy in the Sky is real bad. You can read that sentence in Natalie Portman's over the top Southern accent she dons for this role if you like. There was already no saving this screenplay but Hawley's terrible directing choices accentuates how awful this is all around. It's the exact same thing he did with Legion. It becomes less a coherent story and more about how many interesting ways he can shoot a scene. How many different aspect ratios he can use, and just how ~different~ he can make it all look. There's no rhyme or reason. Whatever intent is lost in how distracting everything is. There's no forgiving that terrible cover of the Beatles' song either.

The actors try, but I felt like I was watching shells of characters. Lucy is a character that on paper should be inherently interesting. She's having a crisis over her entire existence, that should be compelling right? No, because the film ever really lets us get to know her. Lucy is kind of an asshole, which makes it hard to sympathize with her when we're supposed to. Jon Hamm is just playing Don Draper as an astronaut, and actors like Dan Stevens and Zazie Beetz are given nothing to do. There's also the baffling decision to bring Lucy's niece Iris to the forefront towards the end of the movie as some sort of audience avatar, even though that is wholly unnecessary and she contributes nothing to the plot. 

I'm glad this is on HBO and I didn't have to spend money on this. I feel bad, because I do like Hawley as a writer and I enjoy a lot of the actors but there is nothing redeeming about this movie. Plus, putting that mustache on Dan Steven's beautiful face is offensive.

Recommended: No

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "I think all this astronaut dick has made you soft." - Ellen Burstyn


  1. I do plan on seeing this (w/ low expectations) since it's on HBO since I'm a fan of PO'TMAN MOTHAFUCKA! Yet, I am aware of the real-life story as I know it's going to be bad. There's another film that she's in that's on Starz! right now which is Xavier Dolan's The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. The pains of being a fan is that you have to some watch some bad shit. At least it's not that awful movie she did with Ashton Kutcher which I still haven't seen.

    1. Oh man I hated John F. Donovan. What a drag. Xavier Dolan was like Film Twitter's darling a few years ago and his last few films have just tanked.

  2. Nice review! I've wanted to see another female-led astronaut/space film like Hidden Figures or Gravity, and was so looking forward to this. But I guess I'll have to skip this one and hopefully another one is on the horizon when film-making resumes.

    1. Yeah, the script and Noah Hawley's direction just do not mesh well. I think a better writer could've gotten a great film out of this concept.


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